What is your mindset when you wake-up in the morning? Do you pop out of bed and dance a jig to the loo while raising the roof? Or do you wake up thinking, “NOOOOOO! It can’t possibly be time!” and curse the blaring alarm clock, silently pleading for just five more minutes? I used to be the latter (never the former).
I’ve been getting up at 5 am, five days a week, for years. Only recently, did I stop waking up in a negative headspace. I used to wake up and immediately lament about how tired I was. The first thing I’d ask myself EVERY day was, “why do I do this to myself?” Then I’d pinky-swear to myself (do other people do that? . . . are you trying it right now?) that I was going to put an end to the early mornings. But then, one day, I stopped fighting it. I instituted a morning routine that shifted my mindset and the ripple effect of that change has had a monumental impact on my overall well-being.
I started waking with intention. When my alarm goes off, my thoughts go immediately to gratitude. For me, that takes the form of a quick prayer. I thank God for this day and all that it has in store for us and ask Him to watch over us and guide me to follow His lead to be the best version of myself. I end it by saying, “speak Lord, I’m listening” and then I focus on the listening . . . while I’m snoozing . . . because that’s grace. The second time the alarm sounds, I rise, shine and decide it’s a great day for a great day. I get to my feet, stretch my arms and legs and take three deep breaths while focusing on that decision I just made – to make it a great day! Sometimes I even catch myself smiling . . . at 5:05 am; imagine!
I make my way from the bed to the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face, and get dressed for my workout. On my way to the stairs, I grab the laundry basket from the hallway.
TIP: I have my kids transfer their dirty laundry from their respective laundry baskets to the bigger one each night before they go to bed – it’s part of their bedtime routine. It’s ready and waiting for me each morning!
Once downstairs, I throw in a load of laundry. When my husband wakes up at 6am, he transfers it to the dryer, then does his workout in our basement. At 7am, he makes sure the kids are up and into their morning routines, then folds the laundry. (Yes, he helps with the laundry – we’re going to unpack that gem in another post – stay tuned!)
By the time I get home at 7:30 am, Steve is overseeing the boys making their breakfasts and lunches (using our Meal and Activities Planner) and a whole load of clean laundry is ready to be put away. At 8 am, the boys leave for school and Steve heads to work. That’s when I get the next load of laundry going and dive into my morning routine (we explore that in detail in my Grace Story: Rock Your Best You!).
While all the things are getting done, I drive to Pilates for my 6 am workout. I do this 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. GIRL, hear me when I tell you that I wasn’t always a workout person. It took me years of soul-searching and gym-membership abandoning to discover the right workout for me. Pilates is my happy place! Now, let’s unravel another assumption you might be making: this practice of getting up early AND working out five days a week was an enormous transition for my life and took years to figure out – 8 years to be exact – all of the baby/toddler years and then some! If you read my sleep story: Z is for a Happier You, you heard all about it. So, don’t think I’m suggesting that you just bust into this new plan overnight. Give yourself grace!
At this point, allow me to interject how I give myself grace . . . some mornings, I snooze twice. That’s right. It’s winter in Michigan. Getting out of bed is cold – and I am NOT a cold-person. I chalk it up to an opportunity for more post-prayer-listening – I’ll take all the help I can get! Additionally, I have a tendency to get sidetracked when I’m on a roll. I blame the momentum of getting the laundry going . . . I think to myself, “ooh, I have five minutes to spare, this would be a fine time to organize that giant stack of papers that’s been sitting on the counter all week.” And so, I’m often late to Pilates. Those who know me well are not surprised by this. I’m going with the excuse that I do my best work when I’m up against a deadline. Alas, I’m often tardy. (Another story for another time).
The journey to starting your day with intention and having a positive mindset every morning is to face your limiting beliefs. What’s holding you back? Are you making excuses? Are you the one standing in your own way? The day I realized I was the main thing standing in the way of my own personal growth and wellness was the day that changed my life. It took a simple choice and then a heck of a lot of hard work, perseverance and a commitment to chasing after it every single day!
My former limiting belief was: I’m not a morning person and I don’t get results when I work out (sporadically).
My current belief is: I get up early every day to do the hard things CONSISTENTLY because I’m worth it and my healthiest me is my happiest me is my most productive me – and that’s the me that I want to be the role model to my boys!
My stretch goal is: I never snooze, I always show up to my workouts on time and I never eat chips.
GIRL, that’s why we call ‘em goals! Life is a work in progress!
In closing, this is MY story; how I wake with intention. Your wake-with-intention-story might look completely different and yet, you’ll arrive at the same outcome: with a positive mindset, ready to tackle each day. If you’re not already starting your day with intention, start tomorrow! The important thing is that you wake up every morning with a plan to set yourself up for a great day! It’s an honor and privilege to get to make that choice each and every day. What will you choose?
This seems like a good time to mention that along this Grace in the Race journey, we’ll offer tips, tools, suggestions, and solutions. When we do, know that they are designed to be modeled, tweaked and customized to suit YOUR reality. There are zillions of ways to do things. Amanda and I have found some really good ones (and can’t wait to share them all with you)! But, you’ll notice that while our respective approach to things is often in alignment with the other, it is more often parallel. We work from the same foundation but ultimately approach things in our own unique way. And you will too! Thanks for being on this journey with us! Comment below to share your thoughts and/or struggles. We’re here for you!